Bitcoin extends rise, jumping around $400 in an hour

The price of bitcoin moved higher again on Friday, jumping nearly $400 in an hour, as the cryptocurrency looked set to close out the week with a gain of over 20%.

The digital currency BTCUSD, +3.57% was up 2.5% to $8,112.96, pushing it to multiweek highs. Bitcoin surged to a two-week high on Thursday of $8,055.20, and finished that session up 11% at $7,705.21.

Thursday’s action also marked the biggest intraday move since Feb. 6, when the cryptocurrency saw a move of 29.4%. Around 3 a.m. Eastern on Friday, bitcoin went from $7,813.41 to $8,171.58 over the space of an hour, and has held on to the bulk of that move up.

Bitcoin had spent the best part of the two weeks in tight sideways trading up to Thursday. For the week, the cryptocurrency is looking at a gain of 21.3%. Some said the sharp move higher on Thursday was due to the fact that investors who had shorted bitcoin, betting on it to fall, got squeezed and were forced to buy it back.

“Analysts consider that there is a positive feeling among traders for the past few days which could open room for higher grounds. We see the case for bitcoin to continue to rise, as long as positive headlines reel in,” said Peter Iosif, senior research analyst at IronFX, in a note to clients.

Longtime bitcoin bull Tim Draper stoked the fire last night, doubling down on his lofty expectations saying the price of a single bitcoin will be worth $250,000 by 2022.

A fresh drive for bitcoin has also lifted other cryptocurrencies. Ether rose 4.4% to $513.87, while bitcoin cash gained 4.4% to $765.31, Litecoin lagged, adding just 1.3% to $130.87 and Ripple’s XRP was up 9.8% to 69 cents, according to CoinDesk.

The big gainers for the week of that bunch are Ether, up around 38% and Ripple’s XRP, up 33%.

Futures markets finished the week in the green. The Cboe’s April contract XBTJ8, +2.66% closed up 5.3% at $8,090 and the CME Group Inc. April contract BTCJ8, +2.73% finished the week at $8,105, up 5.5%.